Updated Oct. 30
We have a first here.
Since doing the CBSSports.com Power Rankings, I've always had a team in the No. 1 spot and one in the No. 2 position, never co-No.1s.
This week, we have a tie.
|Tom Brady and Randy Moss: It's been all grins so far in New England. (US Presswire)|
They are both undefeated. They are both winning big. And they are both quarterbacked by one of the two best in the league.
So in honor of this week's game, it's a tie.
Go ahead, chowder-heads. Let it fly. Rip. I know it's coming. How can that Patriots-bashing, Peyton Manning-loving Prisco do it again?
Why? I believe they're equals.
The Patriots have been in the top spot of the rankings the past three weeks, and they are playing at an amazing level, but there are reasons the teams should be tied. Here are three:
• The Colts have played a tougher schedule. Their seven opponents have a combined 27-24 record. The Patriots' eight opponents have a combined 24-34 record. The Colts have won two tough road games, at Jacksonville and at Tennessee, while the Patriots' lone impressive road victory was against the Dallas Cowboys.
• The Colts, according to the scoring stats, have a better defense. The Colts are giving up 14.6 points per game, second best in the league, while the Patriots are giving up 15.9 points per game. From a yardage standpoint, the Patriots have an edge, allowing 268.5 yards per game compared to 272.9 for the Colts.
• The Patriots' offense is putting up huge numbers, leading the league in scoring at 41.4 points a game, but four of their games have come against the bottom four defensive teams in the league. The Jets (29th), Bills (30th), Bengals (31st) and Browns (32nd) all fell victim to the New England offense. Those games with the Patriots have something to do with why they're down so low, but they have also struggled against other offenses. The Dolphins, another Patriots victim, are ranked 24th in total defense. New England has also faced just one top 10 defense, the Cowboys at No. 6.
By contrast, the Colts offense, which is averaging 32 points per game, has faced just two defenses ranked lower than 20 -- the Carolina Panthers (21st) and Denver Broncos (25). They have faced two top 10 defenses, the fifth-ranked Tennessee Titans and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who come in at No. 8.
Yes, the Patriots have come out and made everyone stand up and take notice with that pleasant-to-the-eyes passing offense. It is a joy to watch. But the Colts can score too and they have played a tougher schedule and have a slightly better defense. So I say they're even. For that reason I'm putting them both in the top spot here in the CBSSports.com Power Rankings this week.
We have co-No. 1s. I can hear the screaming all the way from New England now down to my home in Florida.
Let it rip, guys. We'll know for sure who is better on Sunday anyway.
The Power Rankings through Week 8: